[Dhaka Correspondent] Election Commission has asked the political parties to produce a list of war criminals who were convicted by court before raising demand for disqualifying them from contesting polls.
“You are demanding that war criminals should be barred from contesting polls. That they should not be allowed to register as voters. But we have so far received no list of persons who were convicted of war crimes. If you have a list of the convicted persons, produce it when raising such demands. It will help us,” election commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain told the Jatiya Party (Manju) delegation at a dialog on electoral laws reforms.
JP secretary general Sheikh Shahidul Islam at the dialogue with the EC proposed that the commission should disenfranchise the war criminals of 1971, collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces and those who had committed crime against humanity. Asked if they alluded to the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, he said they were not speaking about any particular party.
EC’s meeting with JP faction led by Anwar Hussain Manju was the fourth in a series of dialogs with political parties to finalize the draft of the electoral reform proposals before the parliamentary elections expected by the end of 2008.
Sheikh Shahidul Islam led a 11-member delegation of the JP faction. CEC ATM Shamsul Huda chaired the dialog. Election Commissioners M Sohul Hussain and M Sakhawat Hussain were present.
JP leaders tabled a 14-point charter of demands which included call for declaring terrorists and war criminals ineligible for the polls. JP team lent support to the EC proposal for 33 per cent female representation on political party committees and disbanding parties’ student fronts. JP supported the proposal for making registration of the political parties mandatory, but suggested that a separate law should be made for it rather than incorporating it in the Representation of People Order (RPO).
JP opposed the EC proposal for putting a ceiling on electoral expenditure. They urged EC to direct the candidates to deposit a fixed amount of money with the commission and spend the fund for campaign.
The leaders of JP, while chief Anwar Hossain Manju lives in undeclared exile in US, also suggested recognition of the registered political parties and their leaders at the state level.